Hello HMCLA 2016 delegates, and welcome to the ICC! We are Melvin Woo and Nick Pagel, both rising sophomores at Harvard University. As your staffers, we will help you deliberate over the cases brought to this esteemed international court.

On July 1998, 120 states signed the Rome Statute, creating the International Criminal Court. The ICC is a highly respected international institution that aims to deliver justice. Its primary mission is to address and adjudicate upon “the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole.”

During your time at HMCLA, all of you will become judges of the ICC, deliberating and deciding the fate of two critical cases of our time. The case ICC v. Simone Gbagbo concerns the First Lady of Cote d’Ivore, who is accused of inciting or conspiring violence in Cote d’Ivore in order to secure the presidency for her husband, Laurent Gbagbo over another presidential candidate, Alassane Ouatarra. The ICC charges her with “crimes against humanity.” The defendant argues that she did not have any political influence to actually stage violence, and that supporters of Ouatarra has framed her for the actions that she did not cause.

In the second case, Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda, the defendant is charged with 13 war crimes, which include murder, attempted murder, attacking civilians, rape, sexual slavery of civilians, pillaging, displacing civilians, using child soldiers, and more. You will hear testimony from witnesses on the side of the prosecution such as a research expert of human rights, a rape victim, and a former child soldier. You will also get to hear from the side of the defendant such as a member of the Congolese People’s Army and the defendant Mr. Ntaganda himself.

For both of these cases, there are huge stakes that is up to your decision. It is up to all of you to either deliver justice or acquit the defendant from wrongful punishment. The honorable judges will learn more about the intricate stories behind the two cases and explore the depth of legal arguments during the course of the conference.

We are both very excited to work with you all to engage in insightful arguments, make well thought out deliberations, and also to have fun! We look forward to meeting you all in August!


Your chairs: Melvin and Nick